By Carson Weaver
Bobcat Stadium was at 100% capacity for Texas State football’s season opener versus Baylor on Sept. 4. The game drew a crowd of 26,573 in total, with new in-stadium attractions and the return of tailgating garnering fan interest.
Texas State’s efforts to create a unique game experience this season resulted in ‘Katzegarten’; a new field-level experience located in the south end of Bobcat Stadium. Katzegarten features lounge furniture, tents, photo booths, tailgating games and unique concessions like Kona Ice and AJ’s BBQ. During the game, Whataburger also handed out one thousand free Whataburgers to fans in Katzegarten.
When asked about the new stadium additions, Texas State senior Emilio Valdez said that this is as good as it gets.
“This is better than I could’ve imagined it would be,” Valdez said. “I was not expecting this at all, but what I see right now… it looked like everybody was ready for this. Everybody was ready for this type of energy.”
Even with COVID-19 cases rising in Hays County, Texas State says they are mindful of that fact and plan for a safe university experience while managing COVID-19 related challenges. Texas State did not require fans in attendance to wear face masks, but they were strongly recommended and available at all indoor areas of the stadium. Texas State alumni Ryan Conopo believes that the university did a phenomenal job navigating pandemic-related challenges in order to put on the football game.
“You know, it’s a politically charged topic but it’s also a public health topic… I think everyone is just ready to go out and cheer for the Bobcats,” said Conopo. “Having been here when it was much more limited capacity, it’s just a lot more incredible to come back here and see a lot of Bobcat fans enjoy the game.”
While the atmosphere of a full college football stadium is an incredible experience for the students and alumni attending, nobody is affected by the presence of the fans more than the players. Texas State alumni Alberto Gonzalez says that the players need the fans to perform at their best.
“We need more fans to come out to support our football team,” said Gonzalez. “They are going to try harder if they see us in the stands.”
The return of tailgating was also announced in Texas State’s Aug. 24 statement. Tailgaters can listen to live music from local artists, take part in the ‘Cat Walk’ before games and engage with several tailgate promotions Texas State has planned for Tailgate Central. All spots can be reserved or purchases online at TXST.com.
Texas State Athletics Director Don Coryell said he’s excited about building upon the gameday experience.
“We’re really excited about the ability to host great crowds at Bobcat Stadium this fall,” Coryell said. “We are looking forward to a great atmosphere all season long.”
Featured Image by Kyle Owen
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